SeaWorld Returns First Manatee of the year, Begins Care for Two More

SeaWorld Returns First Manatee of the year, Begins Care for Two More

1/29/2014 6:15:00 PM

SeaWorldRescue

SeaWorld Returns First Manatee of the year, Begins Care for Two More

January 29, 2014 (Orlando, Fla.) – This morning, an adult female manatee was returned to the waters of Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Fla., after receiving care and rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando for the last year.

“Piggy” was rescued due to cold stress by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from St. John’s River in Palatka, Fla. on February 7, 2013. Following her rescue, Piggy was transported to SeaWorld Orlando for medical care and rehabilitation. Over the past year, Piggy has received continual treatment, including antibiotics, fluids and other supportive care. After being medically cleared for today’s return, the 725-pound manatee was transported by SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team to Blue Spring State Park, a designated manatee sanctuary.

In addition to today’s return, an adult female manatee was rescued yesterday from Blue Spring State Park. The SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team was called to assist with her rescue after the FWC noticed the animal was emaciated, lethargic and behaving abnormally. This is not the first time SeaWorld Orlando have provided care to this manatee, who has been identified as Georgia. In 1991, an orphaned calf at the time, she was rescued from Brunswick, Ga, and was brought to SeaWorld Orlando for care until she was returned to Blue Spring State Park in 1997. She was close to six years of age, more than 10 feet long, and weighed 1,635 pounds at the time of her return.

Seventeen years and six calves later, the nearly 11-foot-long manatee was rescued again by the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team with assistance from FWC staff and volunteers. She was then transported to SeaWorld Orlando yesterday, where the SeaWorld animal care team and veterinary staff performed a complete health exam and began providing an antibiotic treatment and fluids. Georgia will continue to be monitored and more testing will be done to determine what medical attention the large manatee needs.

In addition, the FWC also located an orphaned female calf in the DeSoto Canal near St. Petersburg, Fla., late yesterday. The 122-pound calf is a little over four feet long and was determined to be a dependent calf. Upon her arrival at SeaWorld Orlando, she was given a full health assessment and will continue to be monitored and provided around-the-clock care. The calf joined four other orphaned manatees that were rescued late last year.

In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the waters. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need - ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned - for more than four decades.

If you see injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.

For more information, contact:
SeaWorld Communications: SWO.PR@seaworld.com or (407) 363-2280